Monday, December 2, 2013

Corralitas Public Staircase: 1961 Rebuild

Photo: Smith, 1961.  This photo is excerpted from the wider shot of the Rosebud Ave overpass of the 2 Freeway.  The red arrows point to the framing for the new retaining wall for the then newly rebuilt Corralitas public staircase.  (Click on photo to enlarge.) 

When the State of California cut into the hillside on Corralitas Drive to build the 2 Freeway, they had to rebuild the public staircase.  Prior to the cut into the hillside, the staircase went straight up and down the hill, instead of cutting back at a sharp angle like it does now.   The 1922 real estate brochure, a 1940 photo & an email from Brian Smith, who grew up on Corralitas Drive (his father shot the 1961 photos) confirm the earlier alignment. 

Smith wrote, "The stairway from upper Corralitas to lower Corralitas used to be a straight stairway. When the freeway cut was made it took out the lower portion of the stairway. The State rebuilt the lower portion of the stairway at an angle to allow for the cut. Otherwise there would not have been enough room for the number of steps needed."
Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 29, 2011.  The steep hillside & need for the retaining wall is more evident from the base of the Corralitas Public Staircase.